Belief without Belonging
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Believing Without Belonging 17

Cash and Carry Christianity

Empty Church PewsBelieving without Belonging has been described in other terms such as "Cash and Carry Christianity" or "Cafeteria Catholicism." In the Protestant wing of the church when members require a baptism, a wedding or a funeral but not committed membership it is called "Cash and Carry Christianity" meaning you come to the church to get certain services but feel no compulsion to stay or become a regular member of the church. It is like going into a supermarket to pick certain items off the shelves. In the Roman Catholic Church today, the faithful themselves want to decide which regulations to choose and to follow or not to follow, like birth control or abortion. This approach is termed by many "Cafeteria Catholicism."

Me Individualism

Individual RightsCash and Carry Christianity, involving believing but not belonging, is hindering both the Roman Catholic and Protestant institutional churches today. The individualism of our "Me" society, and subsequent believing without belonging, has damaged the Christian community. It is one of the reasons why our Church institutions have suffered a decline in numbers and in influence in society in the past several decades in favor of individual rights. Societal rights have taken a back seat to children's rights, prisoners' rights, gender rights, ethnic rights, same sex rights and many others. It is a question of being "politically correct" rather than "Biblically correct!"

The Hidden Body of Christ

Gothic ChurchWithin the church, we have lost touch with corporate Christianity as the Body of Christ. Our beliefs have become cold and formal and we no longer have the sense of belonging that previous generations experienced. The individual not the community group has sadly become the foundational unit of society. Individual freedoms however have to join hands with corporate rights in any just society.

"Believing without Belonging"
by Ron Meacock © 2017

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